PIF subsidiary SEVEN to invest $13.3bn into 21 integrated entertainment destinations in KSA

The projects will be located in Riyadh, Kharj, Makkah, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Khobar, Al Ahsa, Madinah, Yanbu, Abha, Jazan, Buraidah, and Tabuk

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) has unveiled plans to invest US $13.3bn into the development of 21 integrated entertainment destinations. The projects are expected to have over 150 innovative attractions and will be developed in partnership with prominent international brands across 14 cities in the Kingdom.

The company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), said that construction works of SEVEN’s first entertainment destination in the Al Hamra district of Riyadh have already begun.

The firm pointed out that its mandate is to invest in, develop, and operate entertainment destinations and create a sustainable entertainment sector that caters to the needs of all in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the highest and latest international standards.

In October 2021, the PIF announced new tourism projects that would be built on offshore platforms.

“SEVEN is redefining the future of entertainment in Saudi Arabia through our 21 entertainment destinations across 14 cities with more than 150 world-class attractions that enhance the quality of life for the people of Saudi Arabia. We are partnering with leading entertainment brands and will continue to do so to develop entertainment destinations like no other. The ground-breaking of our first destination in Al Hamra district in Riyadh is a pivotal milestone and we are excited to bring unparalleled experiences to the people and visitors of the Kingdom,” said Abdullah AlDawood, Chairman, SEVEN.

The announcement comes in sync with growth within the Saudi entertainment sector, and the country’s efforts to consolidate the position of the sector in order to diversify sources of income, create jobs, contribute to raising the quality of life for citizens and residents, and improve the ranking of Saudi cities among the best cities globally, the statement said.

SEVEN said that will introduce a new concept in the world of entertainment; its destinations will offer various experiences including a wide range of entertainment attractions, a variety of local and international dining outlets and many more – all under one roof. SEVEN notes that it has secured partnerships with leading global entertainment companies including Clip ‘n Climb, Warner Bros. Discovery, Mattel for its Hot Wheels brand, and Hasbro for its Transformers and Play-Doh brands, to develop world-first entertainment attractions.

In March 2022, JLL said that Saudi Arabia’s gigaprojects and Vision 2030 are driving growth in the property market.

AlDawood added, “We believe the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia is full of opportunities and plays an important role in the growth of the local economy. It also forms a strong basis for creating jobs and is a strong driver for a large number of other economic sectors including the local tourism sector. We will provide opportunities for local SMEs, develop Saudi talent, localise technical expertise and transfer knowledge through our global partnerships.”

SEVEN’s entertainment destination in Al Hamra, which is said to have an investment value of more than $800mn, is taking shape on a land area of ​​more than 90,000sqm, with a built-up area of ​​167,000sqm. It is said to occupy a strategic location at the intersection of the Eastern Ring Road and King Abdullah Road. SEVEN Al Hamra is expected to attract six million visitors per year by providing world-leading entertainment attractions.

Shapoorji Pallonji was awarded the contract for construction and management of the project. The agreement was signed by AlDawood and Vidya Sagar, Vice President of Shapoorji Pallonji, at a ceremony held at the SEVEN Al Hamra site.

In October 2022, Knight Frank said that Qatar’s hospitality sector would grow by 89% by 2025.

M.D. Saini, Managing Director and CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji commented, “Saudi Arabia, through Vision 2030, has ambitions to become one of the best places to live and visit in the world. We at Shapoorji Pallonji feel honoured that SEVEN chose to partner with us on this ambitious and path-breaking venture. We are already executing multiple projects in Saudi Arabia and this project will certainly add significantly to our business portfolio and further establish our long-lasting legacy in Saudi Arabia.”

‘SEVEN Al Hamra’ will feature many of the company’s signature entertainment experiences including an indoor hubless wheel, Wave House indoor surfing, a 10-lane bowling alley, indoor skydiving, an indoor karting racetrack, as well as cinemas, restaurants, cafes, international retail stores and fitness, the statement noted.

The company’s entertainment destination in Al Hamra will also be home to numerous world-first entertainment attractions developed through global partnerships, including a Discovery indoor adventures centre, an edutainment attraction offering a world of exploration, play and education; Clip ‘n Climb, featuring 40 unique climbing challenges for all ages; and a Transformers themed ride-based attraction, offering highly immersive experiences, it added.

In November 2022, Bahrain said it would invest $312mn into new education facilities by 2030.

The firm pointed out that it has inked partnerships with several firms to design its entertainment destinations including AOA, CallisonRTKL in collaboration with Thinkwell, WME and Ellis Don.

SEVEN’s entertainment destinations are strategically located to serve the wider population of Saudi Arabia, ensuring that they are easily accessible by all. The upcoming projects will be located in Riyadh, Kharj, Makkah, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Khobar, Al Ahsa, Madinah, Yanbu, Abha, Jazan, Buraidah, and Tabuk, the firm concluded.

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